Consumerist's 1st Annual Christmas Creep Gallery

Thanks to everyone who participated this year. The offenses against Halloween and Thanksgiving that you documented were many and varied.

Bring back Halloween! Save Thanksgiving! Down with Santa!

Ok, we didn’t really mean that last thing about Santa. That was mean. Enjoy the gallery!

(Photo taken 10/1/07 by:vidaarctique)


(Photo taken on 10/21/07 by:Soul_Motor)

“I’m totally putting these skulls on my Christmas tree this year. “

(Photo taken on 10/9/07 by:jdobbsrosa)

“October 11 is too early for winter holiday soda cups. Nice one, Boston Market.

How did this make me feel? Really annoyed because I haven’t started shopping yet. It also made me wonder whether these were just left over from last year. “

(Photo taken on 10/11/07 by:Bright Star)

“It’s October 6th and already there are Christmas decorations and trees (artificial, of course) available for sale at BJ’s Wholesale Club.”

(Photo taken on 10/6/07 by:Bob Reck)

From the Albany, NY Target
(Photo taken on 10/1/07 by:vidaarctique)

“Nightmare on Flatbush?” Marshalls @ Atlantic Center in Brooklyn

(Photo taken on 10/1/07 by:Hey There Killer)

“It was just too much to be true, and yet there it was, alongside the singing fish restaurant boat.”

(Photo taken on 10/9/07 by:vidaarctique)

“Taken at Lowe’s in Phoenix, AZ(I-17 and Thunderbird Ave), October 21st. All items in the photo have been there since the beginning of October.

Lawn and Garden, eh?”

(Photo taken on 10/21/07 by:ZekeDMS)


(Photo taken on 10/2/07 by:3ZKL)

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… Even in August. “

(Photo taken on 8/4/07 by:tmmtx)

“Christmas creep has already infected the east wing of #1556. It’s not even Halloween yet!”

(Photo taken on 10/22/07 by:Clean Wal-Mart)

“Taken at Garden Ridge in Greensboro NC in August. YUK! “

(Photo taken on 8/23/07 by:blitzcat)

Thanks to everyone who submitted photos. Keep those cameras snapping. We love to post photos of the interesting things you find inside our nation’s retail outlets. Submit your photos to our Flickr pool or email them to tips [at] consumerist [dot] com. To see all of the “Christmas Creep” photos, click here. Send more! It’s fun!


Edit Your Comment

  1. Youthier says:

    Boston Market had a commercial the other day that suggested their gift cards as LAST MINUTE Holiday gifts. We’re not even to first minute holiday gifts.

  2. aro says:

    I know I thought the same thing when I saw it! I thought about how offensive it would be to get a Boston market gift card as a Christmas gift… “we know how worthless you are when it comes to feeding your family and entertaining others during the holidays…so here is a gift card from Boston Market!”

  3. Hawkeye1659 says:

    Meg, don’t you know you’re not allowed to say “Christmas” anymore. You have to call it “Holiday Creep” and the green things in the picture are “Holiday Trees”.

  4. Nighthawke says:

    Some of those POP’s were poorly deployed, in poor taste by conflicting with each other, or just wayy too early.

    Retail has gone and overdone it FOR REAL this year.

  5. hypnotik_jello says:

    Soon enough they’ll have Christmas sales in January

  6. hypnotik_jello says:

    @HeyHermano: A gift card to Boston Market? Gee, what a thoughtful gift!

  7. Starfury says:

    Considering that today is Halloween these are the scariest pictures I’ve seen in a long time.

  8. ThePlaz says:

    Some of the Boston Market cups even recognize that they are early. They say something like, “get an early start on the holidays, order your holiday meal today!”

  9. blitzcat says:

    I can’t believe I didn’t get picked. I took this in August!

  10. Michael says:

    You can’t have a “1st Annual”…you can have a “First” and then “Second Annual”, “Third Annual”, etc…but not “1st Annual”

  11. kris in seattle says:

    I have a picture I took somewhere of a friend of mine holding up peppermint candy decorations in a Hobby Lobby.

    In July.

  12. synergy says:

    I think my favorite is the squatting skeleton next to the wire snowman. Classic.

  13. synergy says:

    @blitzcat: Wow! That’s fantastically hideous! In August AND pastel-colored trees?! UGH.

  14. niccernicus says:

    @blitzcat: Egads, blitz! Liza Minelli threw up the Village People’s Christmas of 2006.

  15. jamesdenver says:

    Here’s mine from last week at Bed Bath and Beyond


    Feel free to use!

  16. ZugTheMegasaurus says:

    I wish I’d taken a camera to Costco back in July. They had all sorts of lighted shaped lawn thingies. In JULY.

  17. Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

    Gross! Those colored trees are just awful, blitzcat. Looks like they are trying to “re-purpose” Mardi Gras or Easter decorations.

  18. homerjay says:

    “Oh no! Its the Christmas hobgoblins!”

  19. msbeer says:

    I want to know who the first offending retailer was. Because you know the when one starts doing something, they ALL need to start doing it in order to be “competitive”. Plus the retailers wouldn’t have the stuff out there taking up space on the sales floor if nobody was buying it.

  20. DigitalMariner says:

    I get pretty annoyed at seeing full on Christmas displays in stores. However, I had 2-3 customers PER DAY over the last week in my store asking when we were putting out the Christmas CDs and DVDs. I finally had enough of losing those sales that I put them all out this past weekend (a full week early).

    I always thought my company’s timeline for putting stuff out was a bit early, but every year more and more people want this stuff earlier and earlier. But for every 1 person that bemoaned the fact that it wasn’t even Halloween yet, I had 5 people purchasing said items.

    It’s not 100% the corporate retailers’ fault that this stuff goes out so early, it’s the people that are buying it early too. If everyone held off until Thanksgiving they wouldn’t waste valuable shelf space on these items for such a long period. But there is a large number of people out there that want to be FINISHED all non-food shopping before Thanksgiving, and they are the market forces that bring the creep on earlier and earlier.

  21. Meg Marco says:

    @blitzcat: That’s awesome. I don’t know why I missed it when I was gathering them. Added!

  22. @Hawkeye1659: It isn’t Holiday Creep until one of the retailers sells something for a Winter Holiday that isn’t Christmas.

    @Michael: What’s wrong with 1st? Is it bad grammer?

    @blitzcat: Those “trees” make me weep.

  23. Eilonwynn says:

    There are, however, some times when I’m willing to give stores a pass – Craft stores, for example (micheals, joann’s, etc) tend to put their christmas stuff out WAY early because people like to get a head start on *making* stuff (Unfortunately, they also use this as their excuse to put out the “pre made” stuff.)

    I’m wondering if part of the reason for the early displays is because christmas is looking mighty poor for a lot of people out there (thank you economy!)

  24. Meg Marco says:

    @Michael: “1st Annual” is funny.

  25. Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: The problem isn’t with “1st;” it’s with “1st annual“, if I’m reading Michael correctly. I think it’s a marginal usage, but okay. However Consumerist had better be very committed to doing it every year, if they are going to declare the first Christmas Creep to be a first annual event!

  26. Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

    @meghannmarco: Well, and yes. It’s funny, too!

  27. marsneedsrabbits says:

    One of the pictures seems to be ornaments at Hobby Lobby. I sort of give Hobby Lobby & Michael’s a pass because if you want to do Christmas crafting, it is really too late to start most projects after Thanksgiving or even after Halloween.

    The rest suck, however. I don’t want to even see Christmas stuff until mid-November. The earliest I saw stuff this year was inflatables in August.

  28. yahonza says:


    You got it exactly right. For every person who doesn’t like to see Christmas stuff early, there are probably 5 to 10 who either don’t mind, or want it as early as possible.

    Seems to me, this is retail stores doing what people WANT them to do. Consumerist should be applauding them.

  29. Scooter says:


    I’m sure I can gather up 5 to 10 people who want a selection of colorful vibrating sex toys at Target, but I don’t see them bowing to their will.

  30. kellyd says:

    There’s a house on my way home from work in San Francisco (Masonic @ Geary) and their whole front lawn is crammed with christmas lights and decorations–been that way for a couple weeks and today is Halloween. Ridiculous.

  31. Youthier says:

    Here’s my problem – this isn’t “Christmas shopping”. I mean, I don’t buy a light up wicker reindeer to put under the tree for my dad. I buy a sweater or DVD or something.

    So I don’t mind Wal-Mart’s “New Black Friday” strategy for this Friday but I do hate decorations being put out this early.

  32. bunnymen says:

    And people don’t understand why I hate Christmas?

  33. jesirose says:

    This is so funny, thanks for all the photos!

    When we were in Home Depot recently, they had Halloween across from Christmas. I overheard this women say “That’s sacreligious! They put the Devil’s holiday next to Jesus’s Holiday!”

    I loled.

  34. jesirose says:

    “Woman”. Geez.

  35. Ola says:

    You know why I’m not too upset that traditional Christmas songs/hymns aren’t on the radio much? Because otherwise I’d probably be sick of them by Christmas. At least “Santa Baby” isn’t something I like to actually sing around Christmas. Otherwise I’d probably go batty.

    Craft stores, in my book, are the only ones who get a free pass to start Christmas sales early, because people *have* to start early on crafts.

  36. amoeba says:

    This is just hilarious! I wished I had my camera with me to snap some pictures (sight). Anyway, my fav. one is the “wal-mart supercenter”. Great Job Meg and the guys who took the pictures.

  37. Jeff_McAwesome says:

    I have the exact same “Happy Halloween” Picture on my cell phone. Oh the juxtaposition!

  38. LAGirl says:

    i went to Target on Monday night to pick up a few last-minute Halloween decorations. what did i find in the Halloween section? half-empty aisles, filled with CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS. there were a few lame Halloween items scattered around, like ‘fog juice’ and ‘magic crystal ball’, but all the good stuff was gone.

    Christmas? you suck.

  39. drjayphd says:

    @LAGirl: Well, at least with Target, it’s standard operating procedure to put just about anything seasonal on clearance a few days before the season actually hits.

  40. magic8ball says:

    @Scooter: I am totally on board with that. Where can I sign up?

  41. ZekeDMS says:

    Yay, my favorite picture got featured :D

    Now I have to go photograph the atrocity at Wal-mart that was a giant section of Halloween costumes in the middle of the christmas lights, trees, and general gaudy decorations.

  42. SkyeBlue says:

    Here in our little town in Arkansas the city had it’s workers stringing up the lights for the Christmas decorations on the main highway yesterday!

    They have had Christmas decoration out at our Walmart here since the beginning of October!

    November 1nth and I am officially sick of Christmas already!

  43. VidaLondres says:

    Quick correction, that picture from Albany was from Albany, California; which is right outside Berkeley in the San Francisco Bay Area, not New York :).

  44. superqueen23 says:

    My friend and I tried to make a last minute run for some extra candy last night and found that the grocery stores in Arlington, VA, decided that the Halloween candy did not deserve the prime shelf location anymore. While I expected the selection to be sparse (which is why I bought my candy last week), we didn’t dream there wouldn’t even be shelf space any more. At least Target had a meager selection left.

  45. Meg Marco says:

    @VidaLondres: Crap. I always confuse them.